Zizia aurea | Golden Alexanders | 20_Seeds

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This is Zizia aurea, also known as Golden Alexanders. This perennial native plant is the plant that originally helped the Black Swallowtail butterflies to sustain life in North America. Other plants have been introduced in the last 300 years and the Swallowtail uses them now as well but there was a time when the Black Swallowtail depended on this plant in order to stay alive. This plant likes to live in the sun or partial shade and gets about 3 feet tall at the most. This is an early bloomer starting in Spring and lasting through early Summer. This plants flower can be used raw in salads, or cooked as a vegetable similar to broccoli. Zizia Aurea is the larval host plant for the Black Swallowtail butterfly and the Ozark Swallowtail, otherwise known as the Missouri Woodland Swallowtail butterfly; These two butterflies look almost identical. Zizia Aurea is also a nectar source for at least another dozen butterflies; The number is probably more like in the hundreds. Bees, wasps, flies, and beetles all love this plant. Many of the short tongued bees find this plant to be an ideal nectar source. USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.